For a quarter of a century now, WPRB DJ Jon Solomon has been staying up all night playing holiday music from Christmas Eve deep into Christmas evening. This year, to celebrate 25 years of 24-Hour Holiday Radio marathons, Solomon’s actually kicking things up a notch: He’s hosting a 25-Hour Holiday Radio Show.
Starting at 5 p.m. on 103.3 FM (and streaming on wprb.com) on December 24th and running through 6 p.m. on December 25th, Solomon will play unusual, off-beat and otherwise non-traditional Christmas, Hanukkah and other winter holiday music interspersed with listener-submitted radio stories. (As for what’s in store for that extra hour, Solomon says, “More show = more Christmas. I want to try and get to as many favorites as possible! This extra hour gives me some additional opportunities to do so!”)
We asked Solomon — who spun a set of Christmas-themed hip-hop at South Philly’s Boot and Saddle a couple of weeks back — to list his five favorite Christmas hip-hop cuts. He was happy to oblige.
"I love 'Christmas In Hollis,'" says Solomon, "but there's so much more to Xmas hip-hop than just Run-DMC."
Ghostface Killah: “Ghostface X-mas”
Says Solomon: "When a caller to my Christmas marathon first requested this, I honestly thought they were making a song up. Delighted to be wrong. Do as requested this holiday season: Be good for Ol' Ghostface."
Cold Chillin’ Juice Crew: “Cold Chillin’ Christmas"
Says Solomon: "A great group number with verses from Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shante, MC Shan and even Juice Crew manager/day-job-shouldn't-quitter Tyrone "Fly Ty" Williams. One year I forgot to play this during the marathon and I regretted that omission for 52 weeks."
Bone Crusher: “Guess Who’s Comin To Town"
Says Solomon: "There are a couple of unexpectedly tremendous holiday hip hop songs at the tail end of the otherwise-forgettable Crunk & Disorderly compilation, including this, a Killer Mike jam and a not-at-all-acceptable-for-the-radio David Banner cut."
Divide & Kreate: “No Sleep Till Christmas (Beastie Boys vs Wham!)”
Says Solomon: "The Santastic series of annual holiday mashups are full of wonderful combinations and this creation — from 2013's just-released volume eight — is the only way I can stomach 'Last Christmas.'"
The Treacherous Three: “Santa's Rap”
Says Solomon: "Off of the Beat Street soundtrack! You can see how it was originally used in the movie here."